"The adventure set before us is God's own expedition, not our own. And the resources God offers us are far more than what he has put within us, but also whom he has put around us."  — Tod Bolsinger, Canoeing the Mountains.

Our church, First Free Rockford, formally commissioned us Nov. 3 for our assignment with the Wycliffe Global Alliance. I (Jim) began my new role the next day. Here’s a snippet from our commissioning service:
Steve Cooper, director of Global Outreach, to the congregation: Do we, as the Killams’ local church family, promise to uphold them, to encourage them, to pray for them and pray with them in this global work for God’s kingdom?
Congregation: We do.
Steve: Will we pray that they — and all of us — will be filled with the Holy Spirit, victorious in spiritual warfare and humble agents of God’s grace and peace? Will we pray that through the work of Wycliffe and the global Bible translation movement, multitudes will come to know Jesus as Savior and Lord?
Congregation: We will.
Steve: Jim and Lauren, do you pledge to dedicate yourselves to the work of the gospel … to use the gifts and talents God has given you to tell the truth as beautifully as you can, to make known the heart of God? Do you promise to persevere in difficult days — never in your own strength, but in God’s? Do you promise to never go this alone, but to make your work a true partnership with us, your sending church, and the many individuals and families who have already come alongside you?
Jim & Lauren: We do.
Steve: Jim and Lauren, on behalf of First Free Rockford, I commission you to take the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ into all the world, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
• • •

Family members, pastors and fellow Wycliffe members from our church then surrounded us for prayer. It was a special moment.
Ministry work is not new for either of us, but this is the first time we have been formally commissioned. There’s nothing magical about that, of course, but it sure felt right. This is the church where we were married, dedicated our kids, maintain deep friendships and have grown in our faith for most of our adult lives. Now our church is sending us into our Wycliffe work. We feel loved, affirmed, supported and never more sure of God’s calling. 
Of course, our partnerships extend far beyond our home church, to friends and family members all over the country. In a way, it felt like all of you were present for our commissioning. Now, together, we step into this new chapter. 
What a good Thanksgiving this will be.
Serving together,

Jim and Lauren

Top image: At the edge of the Arabian Sea, southern India, 2015. Photo by Jim Killam.
Copyright © 2019 Jim & Lauren Killam, All rights reserved.

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